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2015 NFL Season-Now with Playoff Talk

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I know nobody really cares about the pro bowl but the choices of quarterback reserves were downright ridiculous. Teddy Bridgewater only tossed 14 td passes, Jameis only 22 and Tyrod Taylor 20. Ryan Fitzpatrick had more TD passes than all of them and a higher QBR than all other than Taylor who played in much fewer games. I may be biased as a Jet fan but I think Fitz's career year speaks for itself. This will most likely go unnoticed and people would probably rather see the likes off a young Jameis or Bridgewater it goes to show how :censored:ty the game has become.

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10 hours ago, Bucfan56 said:

 

Another thing Carolina has that New England doesn't is a running game. New England picked up all of maybe four feet against Denver in both games they played this season because their offense is almost entirely dependent on the pass. They have a pretty tiny offense compared to Carolina, and that size is going to help the Panthers neutralize the Broncos pass rush much more effectively. Also, Carolina has a LOT more size and speed on the defensive side of the ball, as well. They're similar to the 02 Tampa Defense in terms of speed but they have even bigger linebackers. 

 

 

Honestly, this is probably one of the most overlooked 15-1 NFL teams I can ever remember. They're so incredibly well rounded and really don't have a major hole anywhere. They have probably the best interior linebacker in the league leading that defense and the likely MVP at quarterback leading the offense. This team could quietly be one of the best teams we've ever seen IMO. 

 

I think they might be, and I'm not quite sure why either. I'll admit that I overlooked them for most of the season too and I didn't think they were that good. Oh how very wrong I was. If they win the Super Bowl, they'd be only the 3rd team in NFL history to finish 18-1 and win the championship too ('84 49ers and '85 Bears are the only other teams to do so). They'd have to go down as one of the best teams we've ever seen. The only "weak" spot they have is at WR and that's only because Kelvin Benjamin is injured. Imagine how more potent their offense will be when they get Benjamin back.

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These Panthers have been very good. They also played in a terrible division, and played the AFC South, which was also terrible. So half of their games were gimmes.

 

But they also won them all, and they also beat the Packers and Seahawks (twice). They're good. But their opponents objectively weren't very good.

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37 minutes ago, ltjets21 said:

I know nobody really cares about the pro bowl but the choices of quarterback reserves were downright ridiculous. Teddy Bridgewater only tossed 14 td passes, Jameis only 22 and Tyrod Taylor 20. Ryan Fitzpatrick had more TD passes than all of them and a higher QBR than all other than Taylor who played in much fewer games. I may be biased as a Jet fan but I think Fitz's career year speaks for itself. This will most likely go unnoticed and people would probably rather see the likes off a young Jameis or Bridgewater it goes to show how :censored:ty the game has become.

You're forgetting he also threw for 4,000 yards, along with his 22 td's. He did all that as a rookie.

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53 minutes ago, DG_Now said:

These Panthers have been very good. They also played in a terrible division, and played the AFC South, which was also terrible. So half of their games were gimmes.

 

But they also won them all, and they also beat the Packers and Seahawks (twice). They're good. But their opponents objectively weren't very good.

The NFC South tied the AFC East for most wins cumulative as a division.  And both the NFC South and the AFC East got to feast on the AFC South and the NFC East this season.

 

But don't let facts get in the way of your narrative!

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16 minutes ago, HedleyLamarr said:

The NFC South tied the AFC East for most wins cumulative as a division.  And both the NFC South and the AFC East got to feast on the AFC South and the NFC East this season.

 

But don't let facts get in the way of your narrative!

 

Come on -- this isn't college. No one cares about division pride, or whatever it is you're doing.

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50 minutes ago, rickyISking said:

You're forgetting he also threw for 4,000 yards, along with his 22 td's. He did all that as a rookie.

Fitz threw for 3,900 yards not far off. Im not doubting the fact that he had a good season I just think a veteran should be rewarded for having a good season, but for Teddy Bridgewater to be in the Pro Bowl with 14tds 9 Ints and throwing for  only 3,200 yards shows how the game is flawed. He is not an all-star by any means at this point in his career.

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It's very fair to say that the Panthers are the worst 15-1 team (17-1 I guess) ever- but they're still really good and deserve to be in the SB and deserve to be the favorite. 

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10 hours ago, ltjets21 said:

Fitz threw for 3,900 yards not far off. Im not doubting the fact that he had a good season I just think a veteran should be rewarded for having a good season, but for Teddy Bridgewater to be in the Pro Bowl with 14tds 9 Ints and throwing for  only 3,200 yards shows how the game is flawed. He is not an all-star by any means at this point in his career.

 

If Ryan Fitzpatrick is a Pro Bowl QB, the term has lost all meaning.

 

I mean, despite his "awesome season" I'm pretty sure the Jets are going to be looking to replace him in the offseason.

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While the Panthers may not have had the strength of schedule that other teams had, they still juggernauted through the two teams in the playoffs that most everyone had being thier pick for NFC Champion. Remember when Carolina was supposed to be a mere pit stop for red-hot Seattle? Or when Arizona was being deemed as possibly the best, most complete team in the league?

 

For me personally, that spoke enough about Carolina to me. They're not the '85 Bears or the '84 49ers, but they're really, really good. Let's see what happens in Santa Clara of course - anything can happen - but for now, I think they're a much better 15-1 than they're given credit for.

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You know the NFL existed before the Super Bowl and the number Johnny Unitas had in a ground and pound era was above and beyond any of his peers.

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2 hours ago, rams80 said:

 

If Ryan Fitzpatrick is a Pro Bowl QB, the term has lost all meaning.

 

I mean, despite his "awesome season" I'm pretty sure the Jets are going to be looking to replace him in the offseason.

The Jets are trying to re-sign him, regardless of his reputation as a mediocre qb he had a better season than all of the pro bowl replacements.

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17 hours ago, DG_Now said:

 

Come on -- this isn't college. No one cares about division pride, or whatever it is you're doing.

It's not divisional pride.  It's merely facts.

 

A team can't control the strength of their schedule....14 of your 16 opponents are locked in years in advance, and the other two are dictated by where you finish the year before.  The only thing a team can control is winning the games on their schedule, and the NFC South won more games outside the division (and won just as many as the AFC East) than any other division....the only barometer we can truthfully use in determining how good the totality of the division is.

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19 hours ago, Rockstar Matt said:

I'll give you that New England was injured and because of that they haven't been as good, but from Nov. 22nd to now, Carolina has scored less than 30 points once. In that same time frame, the Patriots only scored 30+ points once and that was against the league's worst team, the Titans. No doubt Denver's defense was extremely impressive against New England and I'm not trying to say otherwise if I'm coming across that way lol. Carolina is a completely different animal.

 

These rankings say Carolina had the league's 2nd best OL (NE was ranked 25th) and even without any sort of rankings, if you use the old eye test, I really don't know how anyone could unbiasedly believe that the Patriots' OL was comparable to Carolina's.

 

Again, New England was hurt -- that's pretty significant.  Nov. 22nd is the first week they didn't have Julian Edelman.  New England was undefeated and averaged 33 points per game with Julian Edelman in their lineup prior to Sunday.  Denver abused New England's offensive line; Demarcus Ware abused Sebastian Vollmer, who's considered one of the best of his generation. What chance does Michael Oher have?  Denver blitzed just 16% of New England's drop backs and hit Brady 20 times, which as you've surely read today, is the most of any team in any game this season and more QB hits than New England gave up in their entire Super Bowl run last season.  I don't get the idea that Carolina is a whole different monster -- they bring challenges to the table, namely Cam Newton's legs, but Denver is uniquely equipped to handle it.  Their corners are very great and, with a high propensity to play man coverage, free up the LBs to spy Cam Newton.

 

If Ware and Miller play well and Carolina has to max protect often, they're pretty screwed with how big of a mismatch their WRs vs Denver's CBs are.  Denver can rush four, man up the WRs, leave one or more LBs to spy Newton and still have safety coverage over the top.  You say Carolina's offense is a whole different monster... I say Denver's defense is a whole different monster.

 

I just don't think Denver's offense is good enough to take advantage, particularly if they turn the ball over at all.

 

 

 

I don't think there's a tackle in football you can throw in here and stop this sack by Von Miller.

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58 minutes ago, See Red said:

 

Again, New England was hurt -- that's pretty significant.  Nov. 22nd is the first week they didn't have Julian Edelman.  New England was undefeated and averaged 33 points per game with Julian Edelman in their lineup prior to Sunday.  Denver abused New England's offensive line; Demarcus Ware abused Sebastian Vollmer, who's considered one of the best of his generation. What chance does Michael Oher have?  Denver blitzed just 16% of New England's drop backs and hit Brady 20 times, which as you've surely read today, is the most of any team in any game this season and more QB hits than New England gave up in their entire Super Bowl run last season.  I don't get the idea that Carolina is a whole different monster -- they bring challenges to the table, namely Cam Newton's legs, but Denver is uniquely equipped to handle it.  Their corners are very great and, with a high propensity to play man coverage, free up the LBs to spy Cam Newton.

 

If Ware and Miller play well and Carolina has to max protect often, they're pretty screwed with how big of a mismatch their WRs vs Denver's CBs are.  Denver can rush four, man up the WRs, leave one or more LBs to spy Newton and still have safety coverage over the top.  You say Carolina's offense is a whole different monster... I say Denver's defense is a whole different monster.

 

I just don't think Denver's offense is good enough to take advantage, particularly if they turn the ball over at all.

 

I don't think there's a tackle in football you can throw in here and stop this sack by Von Miller.

 

Again, I know they were injured, but down the stretch that offense wasn't good. Getting players back from injury doesn't mean those players will regain the form they had before the injuries, (look at the Cowboys offense once Romo and Dez came back, as an example).  The Broncos have an outstanding DL and pass rush. That is the strength of their defense too. Demarcus is one of the best pass rushing LB's of all-time and my favorite defensive player of all time. He's consistently abused OT's his whole career so it should never be a surprise when he does. He's a future Hall of Famer. Denver will get some pressure/sacks on Newton and the Panthers, but it won't be like Sunday. 

 

The reason why Carolina is a different animal than New England is because of Cam Newton and because they are a balanced, explosive offense. Whereas New England really became a pass heavy team towards the end of the season due to injuries to their RB's. It's much easier to defend a team once they become one dimensional. Carolina will run the football and they're good at too. This is where Carolina OL really sets itself apart when being compared to the Patriots OL. The Panthers OL strength is upfront with their two guards and their center. Their tackles aren't as good, but that's why you'll see them run chip plays, max protect and they'll run the read option, which they do better than anyone. I don't think you can just gloss over the fact that Cam Newton is the biggest reason why Carolina is a whole different animal than New England. Not only because of his ability as a QB, or his ability to run, but also because of how hard it is to bring him down. This is the best offense the Broncos will have faced this season. On the flip side, this is the best defense the Panthers will have faced this season too.

 

On a side note, I don't see the greatness of the Broncos CB's that you claim they have. Talib is a really good, upper echelon corner, Ward is a really good safety, but everyone else is just average to above average CB. The back four isn't the strength of that defense. The biggest thing for me, is that despite how good Denver's defense is and how many sacks/QB hits they got on Brady, they still only won by two points. They still allowed NE to drive the ball into the red zone three consecutive times in the 4th quarter. Had NE kicked a field goal, instead of going for it on 4th down during one drive in the 4th, they might have won the game on Gronk's TD. That tells that if the pass rush can't get there every single time, the secondary is vulnerable. You don't think that a better offense will be able to take advantage of those situations? Especially when considering one that actually can run the football?

 

I think we're both in agreement that the if the Denver lose, the Broncos offense will be the main reason why. I actually think the Broncos defense will keep the Panthers in check for most of the game. I see the Super Bowl playing out in one of two ways. Either the Broncos defense will keep the game close until the Panthers force a game changing turnover which will lead to Carolina winning by double figures, like 10 points or so; or Carolina comes out scores a TD on their first drive, forces a turnover on defense which turns into a TD and then the rout is on.

 

 

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Chris Harris is a really good corner who can play outside or slot; he just has a really awful shoulder injury that did him no favors yesterday. You mention T.J. Ward and the three red zone drives for New England, but those drives came after Ward (and Stewart) had exited the game from injury. Their secondary didn't look impressive in the 4th quarter because they were down their starting safeties and had half a Chris Harris to work with. 

 

Now, I haven't checked on the status reports for Ward or Stewart, and Harris isn't gonna be feeling any better in two weeks either, so it's entirely possible that the issues posed by these injuries will be pertinent against Carolina, but I really don't think you're giving enough credit to what Denver has to work with defensively. Front-to-back, that's the NFL's best defensive unit IMO.

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6 hours ago, Rockstar Matt said:

 

Again, I know they were injured, but down the stretch that offense wasn't good. Getting players back from injury doesn't mean those players will regain the form they had before the injuries, (look at the Cowboys offense once Romo and Dez came back, as an example).  The Broncos have an outstanding DL and pass rush. That is the strength of their defense too. Demarcus is one of the best pass rushing LB's of all-time and my favorite defensive player of all time. He's consistently abused OT's his whole career so it should never be a surprise when he does. He's a future Hall of Famer. Denver will get some pressure/sacks on Newton and the Panthers, but it won't be like Sunday. 

 

The reason why Carolina is a different animal than New England is because of Cam Newton and because they are a balanced, explosive offense. Whereas New England really became a pass heavy team towards the end of the season due to injuries to their RB's. It's much easier to defend a team once they become one dimensional. Carolina will run the football and they're good at too. This is where Carolina OL really sets itself apart when being compared to the Patriots OL. The Panthers OL strength is upfront with their two guards and their center. Their tackles aren't as good, but that's why you'll see them run chip plays, max protect and they'll run the read option, which they do better than anyone. I don't think you can just gloss over the fact that Cam Newton is the biggest reason why Carolina is a whole different animal than New England. Not only because of his ability as a QB, or his ability to run, but also because of how hard it is to bring him down. This is the best offense the Broncos will have faced this season. On the flip side, this is the best defense the Panthers will have faced this season too.

 

On a side note, I don't see the greatness of the Broncos CB's that you claim they have. Talib is a really good, upper echelon corner, Ward is a really good safety, but everyone else is just average to above average CB. The back four isn't the strength of that defense. The biggest thing for me, is that despite how good Denver's defense is and how many sacks/QB hits they got on Brady, they still only won by two points. They still allowed NE to drive the ball into the red zone three consecutive times in the 4th quarter. Had NE kicked a field goal, instead of going for it on 4th down during one drive in the 4th, they might have won the game on Gronk's TD. That tells that if the pass rush can't get there every single time, the secondary is vulnerable. You don't think that a better offense will be able to take advantage of those situations? Especially when considering one that actually can run the football?

 

I think we're both in agreement that the if the Denver lose, the Broncos offense will be the main reason why. I actually think the Broncos defense will keep the Panthers in check for most of the game. I see the Super Bowl playing out in one of two ways. Either the Broncos defense will keep the game close until the Panthers force a game changing turnover which will lead to Carolina winning by double figures, like 10 points or so; or Carolina comes out scores a TD on their first drive, forces a turnover on defense which turns into a TD and then the rout is on.

 

Regarding Harris, he's been considered one of the best in the league for about three years now.  Here's a couple of articles about him from Pro Football Focus, one in which they rated him the league's 4th best player entering this season.  It went J.J. Watt, Aaron Rodgers, Justin Houston, then Chris Harris.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2015/05/19/pffs-top-101-of-2014-no-4-chris-harris-jr/

Quote

If the season Darrelle Revis has in 2009 was the single best year we have seen from a cornerback in the PFF era – and it was – then Harris in 2014 got as close to it as anybody has come, and did it despite tearing his ACL in the playoffs the previous year. He came into this year just eight months removed from that injury and yet finished the season with a monster coverage grade and statistics that rivaled anybody.

 

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2015/08/06/chris-harris-underrated-and-elite/

Quote

He can play left corner, right corner, slot corner, in man coverage, zone coverage, or against the run, and do it all to an extremely high level, consistently, without giving anything big away.

 

Suffice it to say, when a guy garners top-five-in-the-league talk, average to above average probably isn't a sufficient assessment. Given that Talibs ability isn't in question and their third corner Roby rates out better than most teams #2's, I'm not sure my saying they have a great secondary is up for debate.  Also, "they only beat New England by two," even with the qualifiers, sounds pretty foolish. A better offense might be able to take advantage of Denver injuries where New England didn't. Fine, but Carolina isn't better than a healthy Patriots offense. You're acting like the Patriots are a franchise that's just happy to get a championship game. It's insane.

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2 hours ago, CDixonDesign said:

Class move by Jerry Richardson, he's paid for every Panthers employee from his staff down to interns to make the trip to SB50

 

Business Owner Pays For Business Trip

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As I get older, the human impact of the game gets a little harder to ignore. Not that I suspect it will stop many people from partaking in the Church of the Shield, but if it helps give some people momentary pause, it might be for the best.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/27/sports/football/former-giants-safety-tyler-sash-found-to-have-cte.html

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